Applegate Landing at capacity, with long waiting list

By Scott Swanson
Lebanon Local

Applegate Landing’s 48 units are completely full as the complex is being completed.
The apartment complex, built to house veterans and others on limited incomes, is largely finished, a little over a year after ground was broken for the project in the summer of 2020.
The complex includes an office that is serving as headquarters for Crossroads Communities, a local nonprofit organization formed to assist those who are homeless or need help with the basic necessities of life. Crossroads’ mission is to provide “stabilization and supportive housing, life skills education and job training to those who need a second chance,” according to its website, crossroadsc.org.
“We’re here on site to help remove barriers,” said Mandy Wolke, program director for the organization.
Though Crossroads does not actually manage the apartments – that is being done by Cascade Management, which manages more than 185 properties, many of them low- to moderate-income, throughout Oregon and Washington, The company’s goal is “to provide safe and affordable housing to those in need,” it states on its website.
Wolke said Applegate’s primary focus is housing veterans, and it didn’t take long to find residents.
“Veterans do go to the top of the waiting list, as well as victims of domestic violence,” she said.
“Boy, it filled up pretty fast. It was just, as far as the list, getting people in here and getting the units completed and stuff. There were a few hiccups, but they are completely full now.”
There’s a waiting list of 200 for the apartments, she added.
Some residents took their apartments sight unseen, Wolke said.
“One of the most exciting things we’ve gotten to do is show people their apartment for the first time. The emotions go from just, oh, being excited to tears.”
In addition to offering assistance with basic necessities such as clothing and food, Crossroads plans to offer on-site events at the complex, starting with teeth screening at the end of the year, which will include basic cleaning and sealant for children who might need it, Wolke said.
The office facility includes a room where residents can meet with mental health professionals or peer-to-peer counselors – “whatever it might be, anything from an AA group to a religious type. It could be as simple as a game night or crafts, whatever people want to participate in, to gardening tips – whatever people want to do or lead amongst the residents.”
Crossroads also plans to set up a computer lab in which residents can learn “everything from basic computer skills to online safety.”
Some residents, she said, need assistance with “basic life skills.”
“We have one resident who was homeless for five years before coming in here, not even knowing what the correct soap to put in the dishwasher might be.”
Crossroads is looking at working with Cascade Management to open up other, similar, complexes, including in West Salem. They are also considering the possibility of taking over an existing complex in Sweet Home.
“We’re doing some research and some just information gathering to see how much the apartment complex themselves will utilize us.
“There are certain barriers that people run into in life and we’re here to help.”